Central Hinds slows down Eagles|[01/25/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008

Porters Chapel has had its problems getting untracked early in games. On Thursday night they never got untracked at all.

The Eagles were held to a season low 27 points in a 38-27 loss to Central Hinds, spoiling Senior Night for five Eagle players. The loss also drops the Eagles (9-5, 7-5) out of a tie for second place in District 5-A.

“Yeah, it was a tough night for our offense,” PCA coach E.J. Creel said. “I was proud of our defense but we could never get it going on offense.”

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The Eagles made just 10 of 44 shots from the field (22 percent) and they also committed 19 turnovers. PCA’s top scorer for the season, senior Matt Cranfield, scored his only two points on a pair of free throws with 56.4 seconds left in the game.

Central Hinds (10-4, 8-4) found its offense from the free throw line where the Cougars went 15 of 23. Tanner Lee had 15 points for Central Hinds while Currie Lee had nine.

It was four straight free throw makes by Lee with 34.1 seconds left in the third quarter that turned a 21-20 PCA lead into a 24-21 lead for the Cougars. Lee was fouled by PCA’s Jeremaine O’Conner, who was then hit with a technical foul for an outburst of emotion. Following the inbound, Colby Gill scored in the lane to give the Cougars a six-point trip and a 26-21 lead.

The Eagles’ offensive woes continued into the fourth quarter. They missed their first seven shots and went over four minutes before scoring. Two free throws by Josh Hill with 3:57 left ended the drought. After Cranfield’s two free throws made it 33-27, the Cougars scored the game’s final five points in the final 55 seconds to win by 11.

“We came around there in the second half,” Central Hinds coach Noah Bryant said. “The kids showed a lot of mental toughness and heart. Those two things and rebounding can win games for us. We also got after it on defense.”

Jacob Rachal led PCA with nine points and six rebounds.

PCA is back in action tonight at home against Rebul and then will close out its district schedule Monday night at district leader CM&I.

(G) Central Hinds 48, PCA 20

Jamie Plunkett scored 34 points to lead the Lady Cougars in a rout of Porters Chapel. Plunkett had 26 of her points in the second half as Central Hinds broke away from an 18-7 halftime lead.

PCA was led by Amanda Bufkin’s eight points — as many as the Lady Eagles scored in their previous game, a 56-8 loss to University Christian on Tuesday.

Porters Chapel was shut out in the second quarter Thursday, and has not scored more than 10 points in a quarter in any of its last three games. The Lady Eagles scored 13 points in the fourth quarter of a loss to Mt. Salus on Jan. 11.